Here are your 2013 National Hockey League Major Individual Award Winners (yes, all caps).
Hart Trophy — Most Valuable Player: Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Vezina Trophy — Best Goaltender: Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets
Norris Trophy — Best Defenseman: P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens
Calder Trophy — Rookie of the Year: Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers
Lindsay Award — Most Outstanding Player: Sidney Crosby, Pgh. Penguins
Selke Trophy — Best Defensive Forward: Jonathan Toews, Chi. Blackhawks
Adams Award — Coach of the Year: Paul MacLean, Ottawa Senators
Lady Byng Trophy — Most Gentlemanly Player: Marty St. Louis, Tampa Bay
GM of the Year: Ray Shero, Pittsburgh Penguins
Masterton Trophy — Dedication to Hockey: Josh Harding, Minnesota Wild
Frankly, I have no problem with any of those choices with perhaps the exception of the Norris Trophy. PK Subban isn’t in the same league as either Kris Letang or Ryan Suter (the other nominees) and frankly, I can think of a dozen defensemen more deserving, but then again, I saw him play against the Jets this season and he was pretty average.
Ovechkin got off to a skow start and then exploded (the explosion started in back-to-back games in Winnipeg) and essentially willed the Washington Capitals into first place in the Southeast Division and a spot in the playoffs. He deserved the MVP for the regular season. Where he went in the playoffs is anyone’s guess.
Always been a big fan of Josh Harding, a terrific Masterton choice; you could argue for Jonathan Toews as the Lindsay winner except he wasn’t nominated; and none of the rookies were sensational, but we saw Huberdeau seven times this season, so sure, why not?
The league’s other GMs love Ray Shero because he figured out a way to have Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Letang, James Neal, Pascal Dupuis, Jarome Iginla and Brenden Morrow all play on his team and still stay under the salary cap. Hiring Jason Botterill as his capologist was probably the best contract Shero ever offered.
The most insightful trophy winner was Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets and he didn’t even to say anything to be insightful. The fact he was named the best goaltender in the NHL says an awful lot about how bad the Columbus Blue Jackets really are.
Bobrovsky was seventh in wins, second in save percentage and fifth in goals against. He wasn’t the best goalie in the NHL in terms of numbers. That was easily Tuukka Rask (for goalies who played more than 30 games), but the fact he played on a team that seldom got the puck out of its own end made him quite imposing this season.
Seldom does the Vezina Trophy go to a goalie whose team doesn’t make the playoffs. In fact, not since Roy Worters of the Rangers in 1930 (back when it was only GAA that determined the Vezina winner) has a non-playoff goalie won the Vezina. It’s the first since the award went to a vote in 1981-82.
So how bad are the Blue Jackets? Well, this is a goalie who won eight of his last nine starts and still couldn’t get the Blue Jackets past eight other teams including a Minnesota Wild team that did everything it could to finish ninth. I would have voted for Rask, but he wasn’t even a finalist. I’d certainly rather have Rask now. Especially on Monday night.
At any rate, Marty St. Louis won the Lady Byng Trophy for the third time. Great choice. He’s kind of the poster boy for those sports columnists who think UFC is the greatest sporting event on the planet and then scream like school girls when a fight breaks out in a hockey game. Are they being ironic or are they just pure unadulterated hypocrites?